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Wisconsin Sunday Morning headlines

Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 --- 4:36 a..m.

SPEED LIMIT

Bill raising speed limit motors on

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposal that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin's interstates to 70 miles per hour continues to race through the Legislature.

The Assembly passed the bill earlier this month. A Senate committee plans to hold a public hearing on the measure Thursday and the full Senate could vote on it in November.

The bill would give the state Department of Transportation six months to change interstate speed limits from 65 to 70. The agency would have to submit a study to the Legislature within a year on the feasibility of raising the limit to 70 mph on other four-lane highways.

Democratic opponents have raised safety concerns with increasing the speed limit, but backers say most people already drive that fast now anyhow.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-CONFUSION

Wis. groups struggle to reach uninsured for signup

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- The new health care reform law makes health insurance available to the 500,000 Wisconsin residents who don't have it, but not all of them know about the new law or how it applies to them.

Groups are working to teach the uninsured about their options. But a Post-Crescent Media report says it's not easy to determine who those people are or where to reach them.

Michael Bare is with the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in Milwaukee. He says his staff knows where the uninsured are concentrated, but it'll be challenging to get them committed to paying their monthly premiums on time.

Jon Peacock is a research director for Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. He estimates that only half the uninsured population knows about the new law.

APPLETON GUN DEBATE

Gun-carrying incident in Appleton draws responses

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- An incident where two men openly carried assault rifles near an Appleton farmers' market last month prompted a flurry of angry emails to the mayor's office, according to a new analysis.

A Post Crescent Media report says many emails were from residents threatening to stay away from future public events where firearms were present.

One man said as long as people are carrying weapons around the city he'll keep his family away. A woman said she didn't want to live where people feel they need guns to protect themselves at family events.

But a New York man said police had no right to hassle the men. He said the two were minding their own business and should have been left alone.

The emails were acquired through an open-records request.

CONGRESS-RYAN CHALLENGER

Zerban makes his challenge to Paul Ryan official

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- Rob Zerban , the Democrat who lost to U.S. Representative Paul Ryan in last year's election, is mounting a new challenge next year.

Zerban told The Associated Press this week he was getting back in the race. He made his announcement official Saturday at a rally in Kenosha.

He lost last year by 12 percentage points, 55 percent to 43 percent. But that was Ryan's smallest margin of victory in eight races.

The 45-year-old Zerban is a former Kenosha County Board supervisor who used to run two small businesses. He blames Ryan for voting against ending the government shutdown, and for advancing a budget that cuts money from social-service programs.

Zerban says he supports green technology, immigration reform and same-sex marriage.

WISCONSIN PROFESSOR RESIGNS

Wis. prof resigns during conviction investigation

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- The University of Wisconsin-Superior says a music professor who'd been suspended pending an investigation of his decades-old criminal conviction in Utah has resigned.

A Duluth News Tribune report says Matthew Faerber taught vocal music education. The school announced his resignation Friday.

A 1991 news report out of Salt Lake City says Faerber was charged with sexual improprieties involving two 13-year-old female music students. He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to six months in jail.

He was hired at UW-Superior in 1998, before the UW System required background checks. He was placed on administrative leave August 28th.

UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter says Faerber resigned under a separation agreement.

A message left at Faerber's home Saturday was not immediately returned.

URBAN AGRICULTURE-BETTER NEIGHBORHOODS

Milwaukee aims to turn extra land into urban ag

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's largest city is looking to urban farmers and food processors to help it put a flood of tax-foreclosed properties back to use.

Martha Brown of Department of City Development says Milwaukee has about 4,100 buildings and lots on its hands.

It costs taxpayers millions of dollars to either renovate or demolish those buildings, and just mowing lots costs thousands of dollars each year.

The city is looking to turn over some properties for as little as $100 to residents who want to grow gardens, create parks and establish food-related businesses. The goal is to improve neighborhoods and residents' access to healthy food.

FOOD RECALL-GARDEN-FRESH

Wis. company again expands chicken, ham recall

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee-based Garden-Fresh Foods Incorporated is recalling 50 more tons of chicken and ham products over concerns of possible listeria contamination, its third recall in two months.

The latest recall was announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Officials were concerned the food was possibly contaminated with listeria, which can lead to miscarriages in pregnant women and serious illness for those with weakened immune systems.

There have been no reports of illnesses.

The products include several varieties of ham and chicken salads, among other things, sold under the Garden-Fresh, Grandpa's, Archer Farms and D'Amico & Sons brand names.

A message left Saturday with the company wasn't immediately returned. Garden-Fresh first recalled more than 9 tons of food on Sept. 25, and recalled an additional 6,700 pounds this month.

OJIBWE LANGUAGE GRANT

Federal grant aimed at preserving Ojibwe language

BAYFIELD, Wis. (AP) -- A federal grant will provide more opportunities for children of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to learn their native Ojibwe language from tribal elders.

As the number of Native Americans fluent in Ojibwe has dwindled over the years, a grant from the federal Administration for Native Americans is aimed at preserving the language. It will allow the Red Cliff's Head Start program to hire a language instructor and an assistant to work with their children. They will also work with the Bayfield School District on plans for an Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School.

The ANA says it's awarding about $4 million in new grants designed to preserve Native American language and culture, but did not specify the amount of the Red Cliff grant.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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